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Legalities and common courtisies


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Hi All

Before I say anything on the posts on another thread. I know there is in fact an ongoing investigation on illegally obtained and sold meteorites. It has been going on for awhile, exactly how long I don't know. I'm not sure which government branch is actually doing this. We all have seen these stings in the past with fish and game and other artifact, fossils and ?? How I found out this is going on is irrelavent. Here's my take on the current laws on hunting, possesing, and reselling meteorite finds.

Several years ago I was involved in an iniatiative to allow rock hounding on state lands in Arizona. It failed and as it stands now state land is off limits to all but hunters or fisherman with an active hunting fishing liscence for that purpose only. Camping may be arrange with a permit but rockhounding, detecting is off limits without a mining permit. On BLM and Forest service lands meteorites are classified by them as rocks and applies to thier collecting rules and regs. For personal use only you can collect and posses 25 lbs and one piece per day and up to 250 lbs per year. Items collected are not to be bartered or sold in the collectors lifetime. The hiers of the original collector can legally sell the meteorites he had collected on government lands. Certain withdrawn areas and national parks are off limmits to hunting or collecting while others might require permits or plan of operations when detecting or digging is concerned. On private lands the landowner owns the meteorites iregardless of mineral rights status. Mining Claims and mineral rights do not own or control meteorites. But I would strongly advise that you advise a claim holder what you are looking for before hunting an active mining claim. The only exception to these rules is the remains of the actual pieces that were submited to an institution for study. When the classifying institution returns the unused portion of a sample to the finder/owner it retains a piece of it for future study in it's archives as a faductiary public resposibility and hands over free and clear title to the remains to the finder. It was that opinion given Jim Kreigh and I by the legal minds at a meeting at the U of A many years ago. All other pieces from a given find or fall do not share that title only the pieces submitted and returned. Meteorites that are taken from private lands with the permission of the land owner are legal to do what you wish with them. Another item of interest certain activities for profit on public lands require licencing and permits. Early in the Gold Basin Hunt Jim and I considered taking people out on meteorite hunts for a fee. We could have done it on private property but there were lots of fees and regulations for doing it on BLM lands. So we scrubbed the idea.

Common courtesy about another ones finds. Having been hygraded by most of my hunting partners, casual friends, people whom heard rumors and just about every tom dick and harry out there over the years. I'm not interested I commend those that put in the effort to make a find. If they are smart they will shut up and hunt the snot outa it. It seems the first to hygrade will be the ones to cry the loadest when it happens to them. When you show and tell you asking for hygraders. Do unto others as you would like them to do to you !! Happy Huntin John B.

PS. I have never sold meteorites or gold, I've found boat loads of both and donated the snot outa my meteorite collection mostly to museums, planetariums and universities world wide. My belief is it's the right thing to do with such butt ugly rocks !!

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Hi Everyone-

All I have to say is the "black market" for illegal meteorites must be much bigger then I ever thought if the Feds are involved. :hmmmmmm:

Berduc is perhaps the shining star of this activity but certainly there wasn't enough to warrant an investigation by the Feds so there has to be another angle to this story.......... :twocents: :hmmmmmm:

Steve

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PS. I have never sold meteorites or gold, I've found boat loads of both and donated the snot outa my meteorite collection mostly to museums, planetariums and universities world wide. My belief is it's the right thing to do with such butt ugly rocks !!

Those are the words of a true hobbiest. A person that loves to do what he does. Your whole post was good John, but these words are the best I have seen in awhile. Thanks

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Those are the words of a true hobbiest. A person that loves to do what he does. Your whole post was good John, but these words are the best I have seen in awhile. Thanks

All:

I think meteorites are absolutely beautiful rocks, and fascinating that they are from outer space. Hold up a Pallasite with the sun shinning through it – just gorgeous; a natural stained glass from the heavens.

John: I commend you for donating many of your finds; the scientific value is important and it is good for people to see them.

Keep on hunting.

Greg

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